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Elephant Block Puzzle 


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Elephant Block Puzzle 

Written By: Sonya Nimri 




Copy machine (1) 

• 4"x4" lumber (1) 

Elephant template (1) 

• Gesso (1) 

link to download in 

Step 5 

or white primer 

• Miter saw (1) 

Acrylic paint (1) 

or hacksaw 

5 coordinatina colors 

• Paintbrush (1) 

• Paper tape (1) 

Pencil (1) 

• Sandpaper (1) 

Sponge brush (4) 


Anyone who's ever taken on an ambitious home-improvement project knows what it's like to 
have spare wood lying around - and to want nothing more than to get rid of it. This DIY 
project is a great way to turn scrap 4"x4" lumber into a kid-friendly puzzle featuring their 
favorite animal. A single 5' piece of 4"x4" lumber (which, in a typically confusing turn of 
phrase in the construction biz actually means it's 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"), will easily make one 16- 
block puzzle. Even if you have to buy materials, it's thrift-friendly, as the wood should cost 
no more than $7. To further drive down costs, I used leftover acrylic house paint from some 
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Elephant Block Puzzle 

other projects. Bare wood means extra coats, and the key here is to give it one solid coat of 
primer and then give it a minimum of 3 coats of paint on each side of the wood for an even, 
smooth finish. 

Project originally appeared on CRAFT . 

Step 1 — Elephant Block Puzzle 

• Using your miter saw* or hacksaw, 
cut your 4"x4" lumber every 3 1/2" 
to make 16 blocks that are 3 1/2"x3 
1/2" each. Although one would think 
that 4"x4" lumber would be 4" by 
4", it is actually 3 1/2", so your 
blocks should be perfect cubes. 

• Sand the sides with sandpaper to 
smooth edges. 

• *Learn how to use a miter saw 

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Elephant Block Puzzle 

Step 2 

• With a 1/2" sponge brush, prime blocks with one coat of gesso on all four sides. I 
recommend painting two opposing sides at a time and letting them dry before moving on so 
your hands don't get too messy. Let dry completely. 

• Tightly arrange your puzzle blocks in a desired order, cut-side up - they might not be 
exactly even in height, so mix the higher and lower ones randomly. 

• Give it one coat of white paint, wait to dry, then tape a striped pattern onto the blocks. This 
is the B-side to the puzzle. 

Step 3 

• Paint the blocks red over the tape. Brush paint outward from the tape, using small amounts 
to minimize paint running under the tape. Paint at least 3 coats, giving the paint time to dry 
between coats. 

• Inevitably, no matter how careful you are, paint will run under the tape. Use your sponge 
brush to touch up the white paint. 

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Elephant Block Puzzle 

Step 4 

• Turn each block on its side and use your sponge brush to paint two opposite sides the 
color of your choice. I chose yellow because bright colors like yellow, red, and orange are 
thought to stimulate brain activity in children. I recommend three to four coats for a nice, 
even finish. 

• When the first two sides are dry, paint the next two opposite sides another color. Here I 
chose gray to give a break to the eye from all the bright colors. Too many bright colors can 
be over-stimulating! 

• Make a line across the top of the block and painting downward to keep the colors 
from dripping onto the other sides of the blocks. 


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Elephant Block Puzzle 

Step 5 

• Enlarge the elephant template to 154% on a copier, then cut out the elephant. 

• Figure out the placement of the elephant on the puzzle. I made sure that there was a part 
of the elephant on each block to make it easier to assemble the puzzle. 

• Lightly trace the elephant onto the puzzle with a pencil. 

Step 6 

• Use your flat-tipped angled brush to fill in the penciled outline. 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-03 02:56:57 AM. 

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